EZ Fire Starters

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by minnikin1, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Anybody have ideas for frugal and easy to make fire starters?

    Because we just moved to our new homestead this summer, our wood supply hasn't had time to dry out - and we're really struggling keeping the stove going.

    I vaguely remember hearing one idea using dryer lint and wax?

    Any suggestions would be WARMLY appreciated!
     
  2. Stush

    Stush Well-Known Member

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    I have done the following:

    Take an egg carton and fill the openings 3/4 to 7/8 full of dryer lint or good dry sawdust. Cut a piece of candle wick and insert it into the middle of the lint or sawdust, leaving about 1/2" exposed about the top of the tray. Melt parrafin or old candles and then pour the melted material over the sawdust/lint and let it cool. Place the firestarter under some kindling and light it up. Works well for me and burns nice and hot for a reasonable period of time.
     

  3. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Wax is spendy, lint is free.

    Lint works just fine on it's own. Lasts quite a while. A commercial laundry will be happy to give you bags of it for free.
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Sometimes you can get 5 gal jugs of used cooking oil from restaurants for free. Just ask, they are usually going in the trash. Pour a glass full all over the logs, light some cardboard (free from dumpsters behind stores) and it should help. Be on the lookout for standing dead wood that you can cut for the fire. It does not usually need to cure.
     
  5. jkillen

    jkillen Well-Known Member

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    This year I started rolling newspaper then tying it off with string,
    4 ties per sheet (I use 3 or 4 sheets folded in half). Then cut between the
    strings and dip them in wax. They work great. The one thing I havent
    mastered is cutting the paper once it's rolled. Tried a key hole saw but
    I think I'm going to try a back saw next.

    Also, lint alone works well but dosen't burn long. My wife found a
    10 pound block of wax for $5, I think it was $5, at Hobby Lobby.
     
  6. kentuckyhippie

    kentuckyhippie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    if you have any pine trees pick up a basket of pine cones, they work great. I also save all my junk mail to wad up and put under the smaller wood to get it started. Only good use for junk mail I have ever found LOL
     
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Take a five gallon bucket about half full of kerosese or furnace oil and stand some dry sticks of wood in it and leave them there until you need them. Put some paper down first then lay a couple sticks of the soaked wood on the paper. Set the paper on fire and stack more wood on the starter sticks. DO NOT USE GASOLINE !!!!
     
  8. horselogger

    horselogger Well-Known Member

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    5 gallons dry sawdust mixed with about a gallon and a half diesel,let sit till all dust is soaked...take a baseball size clump of mixture, place in stove and light....build fire on top of burning mixture.
     
  9. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dried manure works really well, and the ashes are supposed to make incredibly good fertilizer. (Don't know about that part yet -- I'm still experimenting.)


    But it does burn readily and keeps going for a bit. I'd take a couple dried meadow muffins or road apples and put some kindling on top of that.

    I've also had great success with the lint, egg carton, and wax starters. Used them back in the Girl Scout days... and parafin's not too pricey, though you could probably use older candles melted down as well.

    Good luck! Warm thoughts are coming your way!

    Pony!
     
  10. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Forgot to note: We didn't use wicks on our Scout firestarters, just burned the egg carton.

    Pony!
     
  11. whitewolf

    whitewolf Well-Known Member

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    I have used most of the above mentioned items, but I have 2 questions.

    kyhippie, do you burn the shiny pages too? First of all I have a hard time getting the stupid stuff to burn and second seems like I read somewhere that they could put off some type of toxins (I may have dreamed this....I don't know...lol) Oh by the way .......like the name.

    Pony, do you use cow or horse manure or both and does it smell?...just curious......got alot of both lying around...lol.
     
  12. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    Lay your firewood with a bit of fine kindling, wad a small sheet of newpaper and set on top......then take a corncob and smush some bacon grease on it (I always save mine in a can and it doesn't take much) set that on top of the newspaper wad and light the newspaper wad. The burning newspaper starts the cob and grease on fire and it dribbles down onto the wood and it all starts burning.
     
  13. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, the stuff in the shed was cow, but I know that people burn the horse as well.

    It doesn't smell, uh, poopy. Actually, it kind of smells like punks. Remember those sticks we used as kids to start firecrackers? Kind of looked like incense sticks? Smells about the same, maybe a bit like sandlewood.

    (And as for the shiny paper, it used to have lead in the ink. Now, to the best of my understanding, the inks are all soy-based, so no danger of lead poisoning.)

    Happy Burning!

    Pony!
     
  14. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

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    I read a thread where someone used easy igniting charcoal. We use cobs and wadded up grass works well too. If our garbage is burnable we use that in the burner too. Cedar bark is great and oak bark has a lot of oil in it and makes a great first fire. We have also used a squirt can of used oil to assist fires. Just for starting, mind you. I have heard of these homemade used oil burners which have a dripping apparatis to feed the burner. A lumber yard has a barrel of scraps which you can get the contents for nothing, usually.
     
  15. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Thanks for all the great ideas, folks. We're feeling warmer already.


    WHO KNEW where sandalwood really comes from!! :haha:
     
  16. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    We do the sawdust and diesel trick but on a bigger scale. 55 gallon drum (plastic lined) full of dust (3 bales if I remember right), then 10 gal of diesel, plus all the waste oil and "stuff" collected all summer. Come winter I pour the soggy from one barrel into another so the wettest is on top and has to migrate back down, thus ensuring an even saturation.

    I think the concoction must help with creosote build up because the pipes look extremely clean.
     
  17. TXlightningbug

    TXlightningbug Well-Known Member

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    Hi, minnikin1,
    A friend of mine is a Girl Scout leader. She takes lint from the dryer trap, stuffs it into toilet paper rolls (after all the paper has been used) and uses that. Sometime, to make it last longer, she'll put string through the roll before stuffing it with the lint and dips the ends into wax. Light the string or the lint and set it in the fireplace under the stacked logs.

    You can also cut up paper towel rolls, Christmas paper rolls or things like that.

    Be careful with newspaper. If it's not coated right, it sends flying pieces of burning paper up the flue. If there is any creosote up there, it could start a fire in the chimney. If this is used in a campfire, the flying embers from the paper can set off a forest fire. I've seen it happen.

    For wax, use crayolas, use candles, scrape it off the carton of milk...you get the idea?

    Have fun and stay safe and warm!

    TXlightningbug :yeeha:
     
  18. Dawndra

    Dawndra I'm back

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    We bought a newspaper roller. They make wonderful logs! People will be more than happy to save their paper for you... If you roll it tight enough, they'll burn longer than a log.
     
  19. Nancy in Maine

    Nancy in Maine Well-Known Member

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    Pine cones do work great. I use them myself for firestarters, but a word of caution: Think twice about storing them next to your fire, even if they do look pretty in a basket. This only happened to me once, but once was enough. When I opened the stove to tend the fire, the wood popped and a tiny stray coal jumped right into my basket of pine cones. It immediately started smoking. I picked up the basket and headed for the door, which was only 20 feet away. By the time I got to the door, the pine cones were blazing. I dumped them on the ground and stomped on them.

    We have a small sawmill, and I've been thinking I should take some sawdust and wax and try making some firestarters to see how they compare. Maybe just a handful of sawdust would work? We need to plane some cedar soon. I'll have to try it. I use my pine and poplar shavings in my bunny cages, but have heard not to use cedar, so I haven't used it for anything yet.